PARKERSBURG - The Ripley Viking wrestling team are just a little salty. Still with the bitter taste in their mouth of a State runner up finish last season to eventual AAA champion Parkersburg South, the Vikes were able to take down No. 2 South, 33-28 in a triangular event that also included Buckhannon-Upshur at Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
The victory was the first time in school history that Ripley has beaten the Patriots in a head-to-head matchup.
"We wrestled fairly well for a season opener," said Ripley head coach Matt Smith. "We had first match jitters, several new starters and made several mistakes but I am proud of the team for keeping composure and continuing to fight hard and battle."
The blue and white also defeated Buckhannon-Upshur 46-30.
Ripley had perfect (2-0) performances from Greg Medina (195), Nate Starkey (170), Daryl Hicks (285), Lucas Simpkins (126), Jake Martin (138) and Preston Martin (170).
The Viking victory dampened the opener for first year Parkersburg South head coach Donna Dixon.
For South, returning state champion Lance Hill (113) defeated Buckhannon-Upshur's Joey Shreve, 9-4.
The victory over South serves as a confirmation for the Ripley Wrestling program and where it is heading in the future.
"Beating South in a dual is a step in the right direction for our program and to do it early in the season gets us on track out of the gate," said Smith.
Viking assistant coach Franklin Howerton was equally excited about the team's performance on the road.
"It is incredible to get these victories early in the year. We had guys getting that first varsity matches in and some that didn't wrestle last year got that first match under their belt. We aren't where we need to be but it is all about getting ready for the last week in February (State Tournament)."
It doesn't get any easier for Ripley as the No.4 ranked (pre-season) Vikings will host the No.1 ranked Huntington December 6 at 6:30 p.m.